A Florida-bound flight dropped over 15,000 feet within three minutes, leaving passengers terrified.
The American Airlines flight 5916 departed from Charlotte, North Carolina, when the crew reportedly raised a possible pressurisation issue, a spokesperson from the Federal Aviation Administration told FOX 35 News.
The flight dropped almost 20,000 feet within 11 minutes, according to the data shared by FlightAware. The aircraft 18,600 feet in less than six minutes after 43 minutes into the journey.
University of Florida professor Harrison Hove, who was on the flight, shared photos on social media that include released oxygen masks.
“I’ve flown a lot. This was scary,” Mr Hove wrote on X, previously known as Twitter. “The photos cannot capture the burning smell, loud bang or ear pops. Good to be on the ground,” he added.
He added that “something failed midflight and depressurised the cabin”.
“The burning smell can apparently be attributed to using the oxygen canisters. The wing flaps came out to immediately lower our altitude so there would be more oxygen. It was terrifying but turned out ok.”
He praised the crew and pilots, saying they kept the passengers “informed and calm”.
The plane landed at the Gainesville Regional Airport shortly before 5pm (local time).
In a statement, an American Airlines spokesperson said: “American Eagle flight 5916, operated by Piedmont Airlines, from Charlotte (CLT) to Gainesville, Florida (GNV) landed safely in GNV on Thursday, August 10.”
“While inflight, the crew received an indication of a possible pressurization issue and immediately and safely descended to a lower altitude. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience and thank our team for their professionalism.”